James Watt was born on January 19, 1736, in Greenock, Scotland. He was the son of a merchant meaning he was not very wealthy. When Watt was 19 years old he was sent to Glasgow to learn the trade of being a mathematical instrument maker. After that he spent a year in London. In 1757 he returned back to Glasgow and established his own instrument-making business. During his young years he was also employed on the Forth and Clyde Canal and Caledonian Canal where he engaged on improvements of harbors and in deepening Forth, Clyde, and many other rivers. As his life went on he developed as a high quality engineer. James Watt had a major contribution to the production of the present day steam engine.
In 1763 James Watt was sent the Newcomen Steam Engine in order to repair it. Two men, Thomas Savery and Thomas Newcomen invented this version of the steam engine. Both of these men were English engineers. This version was used to pump water out of water mines. The Newcomen steam engine uses the force of atmospheric pressure in order to work. Steam was pumped into a cylinder the steam was then condensed by cold water that also created a vacuum on the inside of the cylinder. James Watt also discovered how he could make Savery and Necomen's version of the steam engine more efficient. He worked on it for months to find out how to make a steam engine that cooled the used steam in the condenser separate from the main cylinder.
Watt's version of the steam engine consisted of many improvements. He designed a separate condensing chamber, which prevented a huge loss of steam in the cylinder and also enhanced vacuum conditions. He also insulted the cylinder that maintained the high temperature for maximum efficiency. Other improvements that he made are steam jacketing, and oil lubrication. James Watt's version of the steam engine is four times more powerful than the Newcomen design.
James Watt was not a very wealthy man and because of this he seaked partners with money to help him with his finances.